Since the beginning of the year, I have been reflecting on Matthew 14:14-21, which talks about the miraculous multiplication of food. The story involves Jesus having compassion and utilizing what was available to meet the needs of the people. The miracle was the multiplication of a little boy’s lunch! Matthew 14:14-21 says, “and when Jesus went out, He saw a great multitude, and He was moved with compassion for them and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food. “But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat. “And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish. “He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
There are a few things I would like to encourage you with this week.
(1) YOU ARE VALUABLE
When the young boy was told to surrender his meal, I believe he was only obeying orders. I don’t think he knew that over five thousand people would be fed from his lunch. There could have been many people around with some food, but this boy was the chosen available with a solution. You, too, are valuable before God and humanity. God has created you uniquely with extraordinary talents, gifts, and skills. Do not belittle yourself or disqualify yourself on life and spiritual things. Do not think you are not educated, you are not anointed, and you have nothing to offer. According to Psalms 139:14, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. This description addresses not only your physical appearance, but all skills, gifts, and talents God has placed in you. Everything about you is valuable are fearfully and wonderfully made. Do not think small of yourself. God considers you a treasured possession. Moreover, everything God created, He deemed as good; see the creation stories in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Your identity as a born-again believer is that you are the of the Lord, who is valued and treasured, see Deuteronomy 14:2, Ephesians 1:3-6, 1 Peter 2:9
(2) WHAT YOU HAVE COULD MAKE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
When the young boy was asked to submit his lunch, he just did it out of obedience, not knowing the impact it was about to make. I must commend him for his blind obedience and sacrifice in releasing his lunch. Yet the boy’s lunch is what Jesus used to feed over five thousand people. Your gifts and skills are equally important. God created you uniquely and endowed you with exclusive gifts for your use and to serve others. So, do not underestimate what you have. Most of the time, we devalue what we gave when we compare ourselves to others. Positive competition should enhance your gifts. Unhealthy competition undermines your abilities. You may look at what you have and get discouraged thinking it is so little; it will not amount to anything, but God who gave you what you have can use what you consider little to make a significant impact in someone’s life. God will respond to your compassion in meeting the need of another and do something more remarkable in that person’s life. Have faith in God, that He wants to bless you through yo gifts and that He also wants to bless others through you. What God has given you is to benefit others and to benefit you as well. Proverbs 18:16 says, “a gift opens doors for the one who gives it and brings him into the presence of great people, (GWT). Do not wait to be perfected, do not wait to have much; give, use the small thing you have, and watch God multiply it.
(3) GOD WILL BRING THE INCREASE
The Christian walk demands faith in whatever we do. From this story, Jesus Christ instructed the disciples to bring the fives loaves of bread and two fish to him; “Bring them here to Me,” He said. Then Jesus lifted the food to God in thanksgiving, and more food was produced. Jesus has not changed; he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God honors thanksgiving; throughout scripture, He searches and responds to those with grateful hearts. Instead of neglecting what you have, approach God with confidence and faith. Present your skill, idea, gift, or talent to Him with thanksgiving, and He will bless you. Proverbs 16: 3 says Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (NIV). Also, see Psalms 37:5; what you faithfully put in use will eventually develop and bring many blessings to you.
What you have can multiple if put into constant use. It is God who brings the increase- our job is to sow the seed and let God water and germinate the seed to fruitfulness. When you use what you have, God will increase it – 1 Corinthians 3:7. Whatever is put into use gets perfected to be effective and to do more. Our gifts and skills are the same- put whatever you have into practice; this applies to spiritual and natural matters. Consistency, determination, persistence will result in more excellent outcomes. Do not look at lack; look up to God’s ability to produce more; this is the mindset of abundance. God will increase the little that you have. God desires that you prosper in all areas of life. In Genesis 1:28, God commanded mankind to be fruitful and multiply- this was not limited to human reproduction but productivity in all areas of life. Utilizing what we currently have is also how e overcome poverty and grow in wealth and blessings. Our blessings are to enhance others and enrich us also. Do not diminish, do not underestimate what you have, use it, maximize it, and watch God bring much increase to you and others. I will leave you with this promise from Isaiah 48:17, Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go. What you have can multiply!
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you have and how to use it to benefit you and others
- Reflect on and ask the Holy Spirit what you have neglected to use, waiting for its perfection?
- Willingly submit what you have to God, ask God to bless it, anoint it, ask the creative breath of the Holy Spirit to breathe on it – Jesus in this story (Matthew 14:18 said Bring them to Me)
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you whom you should bless with your gifts and skills
- Ask the Holy Spirit to bless, anoint and perfect what you have so that it blesses more people
- Ask God to bring profit to you through the skills and talents He has given you
- Ask God to increase your strength, to give your patience and endurance to continue to bless many people